No.12245   January 7, 2015

Suntory Beer Limited Business Strategy for 2015

Suntory Beer Limited was established as a company dedicated to the beer business on October 1, 2014. We will pursue good flavor with all earnestness, while also taking on the challenge of innovation in every area from the creation of new categories to the generation of new contact points with consumers.

Review of 2014
The total market for the beer category*1 was estimated to shrink about 1% compared to the previous year. Under these circumstances, Suntory had total sales of 72.62 million cases*2 (up 3% year-on-year), achieving a record high sales volume for the fifth year running. Beer category sales, excluding non-alcoholic beer-type beverages, totaled 65.31 million cases (up 3% year-on-year).
By brand, The Premium Malt's sold 17.71 million cases (remained flat as the previous year), setting a new record for sales volume for the eleventh year in a row.
The Kin-Mugi series grew significantly, selling 36.32 million cases (up 9% year-on-year) to break set a new high sales record for the seventh consecutive year.
All-Free, the best selling*3 brand of the non-alcoholic beer-type beverage also grew, selling 7.2 million cases (up 4% year-on-year).

Strategy for 2015
The total market for the beer category is forecast to shrink by about 2% compared to the previous year, while the beer market excluding the non-alcoholic beer-type beverages is forecast to shrink by about 2%. Suntory will further bolster activities related to not only the The Premium Malt's, that boasts an overwhelming presence in the premium beer market, but also the Kin-Mugi series and All-Free to stimulate demand and provide added impetus to the markets. Further, we will make proposals toward the creation of new value, such as the launch of the new product Radler that combines a beer style body and a refreshing lemon-flavored aftertaste. Suntory's goal is to sell 74.85 million cases (up 3% year-on-year) with the aim of selling 67.30 million cases (up 3% year-on-year) in the beer category.
  • *1Includes non-alcoholic beer-type beverages
  • *2One case is equivalent to twenty large (633 mL) bottles
  • *3Source: Intage MAI survey of non-alcoholic beer-type beverage brands
    Total cumulative sales between January 2013 and December 2013 at supermarkets,
    convenience stores, discounted liquor stores, and on- and off-premise liquor stores nationwide

The Premium Malt's
With the beer market in 2015 forecast to shrink by 2% compared to the previous year, Suntory aims to sell 19 million cases (up 7% year-on-year) to set a record high sales volume for the twelfth year running. So that as many people as possible can experience the appeal of The Premium Malt's and in order to propose a new way to enjoy premium beer, we will fill out our product lineup by launching a new super premium class product as well as proactively roll out promotional activities.

Improving the design for The Premium Malt's

While the contents that garnered high praise will remain the same, the package design will be transformed into one that gives a more luxurious and quality feel, starting from the shipments scheduled in early January 2015.

Launch of The Premium Malt's Kaoru Premium as a year-round product

The Premium Malt's Kaoru Premium is an ale-style premium beer featuring a refreshing scent. The Kaoru Premium went on sale for a limited period in last May, and due to its high popularity among a broad range of consumers, it will be launched as a year-round product on March 3 with an improved content and package.

Launch of The Premium Malt's Master's Dream

With an eye toward enhancing the brand strength of The Premium Malt's, also as a new super premium class product to suggest a new way to enjoy premium beer, The Premium Malt's Master's Dream, a dream beer with the dedication and spirit of the "Master brewers," will be released on March 17.

New-category Kin-Mugi series
Suntory aims to sell 38.25 million cases (up 5% year-on-year) of the Kin-Mugi series.
As for Kin-Mugi, re-launched with increased flavorful malt for a better enjoyment of the taste of barley, Suntory aims to appeal to an even wider range of users by rolling out promotional activities that draw themes from the family dining table and its seasonal changes throughout the year, as well as new television commercials and public transit advertisements that continue to use actress Rei Dan. Beginning in January, Kin-Mugi (75% Less Sugar*4) that combines both deliciousness and lower sugar content will launch a campaign and others to proactively promote its appeal. Kin-Mugi Clear Label will be re-launched in February with a renewed content and package in pursuit of an even better drinking sensation.
  • *4Compared to Suntory's Kin-Mugi

Non-alcoholic beer-type beverage All-Free
Suntory aims to sell 7.55 million cases (up 5% year-on-year) of All-Free. With a re-launch at the end of last year, its features of clear deliciousness and refreshing feel in the throat were enhanced. In February, Suntory will begin an active marketing campaign that includes the release of television commercials featuring new television personalities, as well as the largest sampling drive in the history of the product, for further improving brand recognition and expanding consumption experience.
Further, in aiming to acquire new users, All-Free Lemon & Lime will be released for a limited period on March 10, as we reinforce the flavor development of All-Free.
In response to increasing consumer interest in purines, we will begin promoting the appeal of zero purine*5 on product packages and at shops.
  • *5Contains less than 0.5 mg of purines per 100 ml.
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